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People often speculate about who was the best president America has ever had, citing George Washington for voluntarily stepping down after  two terms, or Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves and keeping the country together amid a civil war.

A group of presidential historians recently ranked the most recent president, President Obama, and place him at 12th in the rankings of 44 presidents.

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Time magazine writes:

Historians gave Obama high marks for pursuing equality, managing the economy, public persuasion and “moral authority.” On the other hand, he was judged to have been below-average in handling international relations. Overall, he placed ahead of such generally well-regarded chief executives as James Monroe and James Polk.


The historians kept the best president unchanged, leaving Abraham Lincoln with the title. George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt ranked second and third, respectively.

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“Once again the Big Three are Lincoln, Washington and FDR — as it should be,” Douglas Brinkley of Rice University in Houston said, according to Time. “That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive,” Brinkley added.

Ronald Reagan places 9th in the rankings, George W. Bush ranks 33.

After each administration, they recalibrate their survey.

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